Saturday, November 22, 2008

Individual Sessions: Say What with Tom LaVacarre

Tom LaVacarre with kicks off the afternoon sessions.

Quick review from last year. How have we done?

Response Time: Response time is better than last year
Accuracy of Response: Accuracy and detail is tremendous
Understanding the Problem: Room for improvement

Always seek to understand before you offer up a solution. Rework is the kiss of death for productivity. Stop. Slow down. Find the need.

7 Core Values of a supporting team (recap from presentation from last year):
  • Urgency
  • Loyalty
  • Duty
  • Respect
  • Selfless Service
  • Honor
  • Personal Courage
Mirror the words, match the tone and rate of speech. "I'm in a rush. This is important!" In response say "Got it. I'll rush to get this important thing done."

Be aware of learning styles. Visual vs. Auditory vs. Kinesthetic. Also paper vs. computer. As an example, for a visual learner (show, show, show). For auditory" listen, listen, listen. They love the phone. Might even close their eyes to listen more carefully.

Be aware of "luxury language". Might bring back fond memories. Examples are "certainly', "it is my pleasure", "pardon me".

Be aware of being too quick to respond before understanding the problem. "Eat the sandwich one bite at a time". Use the words "please allow me to recap..." Listen. Start writing a few words as you think of solutions but don't speak. Keep listening.

Ritz uses W+S (warm & sincere greeting) then P (pain) and then Q (questions) and finally R (response/solution)

Set expectations! The "trial close" gives you the opportunity to discuss or negotiate response time. Do your best to beat the time -- even beating it slightly can make an impression.

It is OK to say "I don't know". If you know who CAN get the answer, that's just as good as knowing the answer yourself.

Communicate in the same "mode". If email is their first choice, use email. If it is face-to-face, go see them in person. Think about the mode before responding.

"Relevant stories" sell everything in life.

It's okay (as a last resort) to provide a partial solution. Address those things you can and postpone those that you can't. It's better to address 3 out of 4 things than to not address any.
The final word(s):
  • Be Proactive.
  • Communicate Clearly.
  • Use "Trial Close" liberally -- it allows you to avoid rework.

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